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Microbiota Modulation Techniques in Dogs

Jan S. Suchodolski, MedVet, DrVetMed, PhD, AGAF, DACVM (Immunology), Gastrointestinal Laboratory at Texas A&M University


|March 2022|Peer Reviewed

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The intestinal microbiome comprises many microorganisms, mostly bacteria, that are important for metabolic and immunologic processes. Bacteria convert dietary and host compounds into secondary metabolites that are subsequently absorbed by the host, influencing host health. The microbiota is in close contact with the intestinal epithelium, gut-associated lymphatic tissue, and dietary substrates in the lumen; changes in these tissues or substrates can affect microbiota composition.

Dysbiosis is often an early marker of abnormal gut environment and contributes to clinical signs in a subset of patients. Because dysbiosis can have various underlying causes, there is no single preferred treatment, and multimodal approaches are necessary. The underlying condition should ideally be identified and treated. 

Modulating microbial populations can be beneficial. Diets, probiotics, prebiotics, and antibiotics are often used to manipulate gut bacteria. This quiz summarizes mechanisms by which microbiota can be modulated.

Dr. Suchodolski is an employee of the Gastrointestinal Laboratory at Texas A&M University that offers analysis of serum cobalamin and folate and the dysbiosis index on a fee-for-service basis.


For global readers, a calculator to convert laboratory values, dosages, and other measurements to SI units can be found here.

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